Abraham Lincoln to Robert Boal, 14 September 18561
DrR. Boal.My dear Sir:
Yours of the 8th inviting me to be with at Lacon on the 30th Inst is received–2 I feel that I owe you, and our friends of Marshall, a good deal; and I will come if I can; and if I do not get there, it will be because I shall think my efforts are more needed further South–3
Present my respects to Mrs Boal, and believe, as ever4
Your friendA. Lincoln
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this letter.
2Robert Boal’s September 8 letter to Lincoln has not been located.
3Lincoln was in high demand as a speaker for the Republican Party during the 1856 Federal Election campaign. He delivered more than fifty speeches throughout Illinois as he stumped on behalf of Republican candidates, including in southern Illinois. Relatively few Republicans lived in southern Illinois, however, a fact which prompted concern about the party’s prospects in that region of the state.
One reason Lincoln may have felt that he owed Boal was because Boal supported him during his bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate during the election of 1854. Boal cast his vote for Lincoln during the first nine rounds of voting in that contest, and only switched his vote to Lyman Trumbull in the tenth and final round upon Lincoln’s direction.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:401-2, 425, 428; Lyman Trumbull to Abraham Lincoln; Robert Boal to Abraham Lincoln; Robert Boal to Abraham Lincoln; Illinois Senate Journal. 1855. 19th G. A., 242-55.
4No additional correspondence between Lincoln and Boal regarding the election of 1856 has been located.
Lincoln delivered an address in Lacon on September 30.
The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 30 September 1856, http://thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1856-09-30.

Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Bradley University (Peoria, IL).